i hope you get cancer™

Monday, May 16, 2005

Masturbation Mile

I live in a pleasant, busy English seaside town which has slowly shrugged off its geriatric image and is now regarded as a magnet for the young and hedonistic. Actually the part I live in is a little, well, lived in, and as well known for its prostitutes and drug dealers as anything else, but the life of the academic was never about material wealth. Anyway I have noticed on my drive home from the university that along one single street there are no less than SIX adult bookshops. I've never seen so many in one place before, and it makes me wonder what it says about that part of town, leading as it does from the town centre to the little oasis of drugs and hookers I call home. Is the population disproportionately composed of single men? Single women? 'Swinging' couples? Amputees? If I find out any more about the demographics behind this I will report back. One of the six shops does trouble me more than its neighbours, however. Its bright yellow sign proudly broadcasts the fact that it is an "XXX Exchange". That's right. Once people have, so to speak, "finished" with their book, DVD or whatever, they are invited to visit the XXX Exchange to trade it in for something a little more stimulating. I was going to say something fresh, but that hardly seems the right word. What is more stomach-churning, the idea of these self-abusers returning material that, presumably, no longer "does the job" - or the self-same self-abusers coming away, as it were, with items that have been "previously enjoyed"?